Malaysia’s Creador targets to hit $600m in first close of fifth fund by July

Brahmal Vasudevan. Photo: Creador

Malaysian private equity firm Creador, which launched its fifth fund last month, expects it to secure $600 million in its first close, its founder and CEO Brahmal Vasudevan said.

“[We expect] the first close in July. There is excellent demand. All existing investors [from previous funds] have re-upped [in the latest vehicle],” he told DealStreetAsia.

In an interview with DealStreetAsia in January, he had said the fund is looking to raise $650 million. Vasudevan now expects the final size of the fund to be a tad higher at $680 million.

While the broad strategy for the fifth fund will be similar to its predecessors — focusing on Southeast Asia and India — Creador may scout for more deal opportunities in Thailand with its new fund.

“The geographic focus is going to be the same. We cover India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. We may see a little more [investment] in Thailand this time. We are exploring the market,” Vasudevan had said in the January interview.

On the targeted return for the fifth fund, Vasudevan said Creador “typically targets 25% return per annum.”

Its predecessor, Creador’s fourth fund, had closed after securing around $565 million in July 2019, exceeding its hard cap of $550 million. Vasudevan said the fourth fund is expected to be 80% deployed by April-May.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is among the investors of Creador IV.

The firm’s investments from Creador IV include Mr DIY Philippines, India-based value-added distributor iValue InfoSolutions, Mr DIY India, India’s Kogta Financial, Malaysian e-payment system operator GHL Systems, and Shriji Polymers.

Meanwhile, the private equity firm announced on Tuesday that it has made a full exit from Gujarat-based drug manufacturer Corona Remedies. Through the exit, Creador booked a 3.7x return and an IRR of 32% in US dollar terms (or 4x returns and an IRR of 35% in Rupee terms), it said in a release.

Indian PE major ChrysCapital picked up a 27% stake in Corona Remedies through a secondary transaction.

Incidentally, Vasudevan was a general partner and managing director at ChrysCapital, before he founded Creador in 2011. The Malaysian firm has about $1.5 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Creador raised its first $130 million vehicle in 2013 followed by a $331 million second fund backed by Hamilton Lane, Siguler Guff, Quilvest, a Malaysian pension fund and a US-based endowment fund. It raised $415 million for its third fund in 2017.

The PE firm focuses on growth capital investments in South Asia and Southeast Asia with a focus on countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Its investments span consumer sectors, financial services, and payment systems, among others.

Its portfolio companies include Indonesia-based snack brand Simba Indosnack Makmur and BFI Finance, Malaysian fashion brand Bonia Group, and, Paras Healthcare and Ujjivan Financial Services from India, among others.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.